Story by Nicholas Austin-Holliday
A tale of two halves is the most accurate way to describe the #4 Florida State Seminoles vs #11 Ole Miss Rebels on Labor Day night. Most people didn’t expect Ole Miss to dominate FSU in the first half to the tune of 28-6 until FSU was able to score right before the half and cut the score to 28-13. The Rebels, led by star quarterback Chad Kelly, jumped out to a quick lead when Kelly hit Damore’ea Stringfellow on a three yard slant for a touchdown. Kelly didn’t slow down after that as he hit two other receivers for touchdowns capping off a brilliant first half.
The Ole Miss defense aka the Land Sharks, not to be outdone by the offense, hit and harassed Noles quarterback Deondre Francois the entire first half. They applied constant pressure and for the most part they were able to contain the Noles all-world running back Dalvin Cook. To add on to everything else the Noles racked up 11 penalties.
The important thing to remember about football is there are two halves. The Seminoles came out on the first possession of the second half and drove down the field but they were only able to end the drive with a field goal by Ricky Aguayo. True freshman Aguayo was brilliant throughout the game going 6 for 6 on field goals and setting a FSU single game record. On the ensuing drive the Seminoles Demarcus Walker sacked Chad Kelly and forced a fumble which was recovered by the Noles. Walker had a monster game ending with 4.5 sacks and a forced fumble all in the second half.
From the Seminoles touchdown at the end of the second quarter until the Rebels scored a touchdown in the fourth quarter FSU scored 33 straight points. The Seminoles true freshman quarterback came alive in the second half and ended the game going 33-52, 419 yards, and 2 touchdowns edging out Chad Kelly’s stats: 21-39, 313 yards, 4 touchdowns, and 3 interceptions.
The Seminoles showed that it’s not how you start a game but how you finish. The Noles orchestrated their largest comeback in school history battling back from a 22 point deficit to beat the Rebels 45-34. Next up the schedule the Seminoles have a lighter matchup vs Charleston Southern and they will head into that game ranked #3 in the country.